Have you tried quinoa (KEEN-wah) yet?
In my experience, people are so weirded out by the name that it scares them off of trying this superfood. Quinoa is a highly nutritious whole grain that comes in three colors: white, red, and black. It is also gluten-free, making it an option for celiac disease patients.
Fast Quinoa Facts:
- Excellent, complete protein source: contains all 9 essential amino acids.
- Excellent source of magnesium
- Excellent source of manganese
- Excellent source of fiber
- Good source of zinc
- Good source of iron
- Good source of folate
- Good source of potassium
- Contains antioxidants
- Low glycemic index score
Because quinoa’s amino acid profile is well-proportioned, it is a great option for vegetarians to increase their protein intake.
How To Cook Quinoa
Some quinoa on the market will specify that is has been pre-rinsed and is ready to cook. Make sure to read the label and if it is not specified, you will have to rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer with cold water for a few minutes. Rinsing with water will rid the quinoa of a bitter coating called saponin.
To enhance the natural nut-like flavor of quinoa, you can toast it in a saucepan before adding liquid.
Finally, you can cook quinoa the same way as you cook rice, with a 1:2 grain to water ratio. Like with rice, quinoa will taste better if seasoned or cooked in a broth instead of plain water. I personally like to use chicken bouillon added to water.
Bring a pot of liquid to a boil, lower heat to bring to a simmer, and cook covered for 15-20 minutes. When you turn off the heat, let it rest about 5 minutes and then fluff up the quinoa with a fork. Super easy and nutritious!